brace face

Hello Brace Face.

My best friend was the first one to get braces back in the fourth grade. The day I saw her with them, I laughed. And then I laughed some more. She proudly walked around with her teeth covered in colorful brackets, shining for the world to see. I didn’t really understand why she needed them, but I definitely felt the need to make fun of her.

The joke was on me because I eventually got braces. As an adult.

I went to work with braces.

Interviewed with braces.

Changed jobs with braces.

Got married with braces (gasp! how dare I!)

I was very self-conscious, so getting braces made an even bigger dent in my confidence. While I did make the decision myself to get them, it took a while for me to accept my brace face. The funny thing about being an adult is that you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. Your decisions, your choices, and your preferences are your own. I made the decision to straighten my teeth so I learned to embrace the braces.

A few weeks in, I told myself that from this moment on, I’m going to make an effort to showcase them to the world. I wanted to show everyone that I was brave enough to get braces as an adult, so I smiled and smiled and smiled.

As time went on, I got the courage to put red, blue, green, and pink brackets on. My mouth turned into a rainbow. I changed the colors according to the seasons and upcoming holidays.

The funny thing is that my proudest moment wasn’t necessarily gaining the courage to smile, but it’s that I inspired my manager to finally get braces too. She was 50.

My “confidence” to show that there was nothing to be ashamed of gave my manager the kick in the butt needed to get it over with as well.

Which is how I learned that:

BEING YOURSELF IS THE BIGGEST CHANGE AGENT OF ALL